All stories by Carole Woddis on BroadwayStars

Friday, January 5, 2018

Carole Woddis rounds up 2017 by Carole Woddis

With the demise of the repertory system, it is the fringe and alternative theatre that has stealthily and often in unrecognised ways provided the apprenticeship and forcing house in recent y…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

HOW TO WIN AGAINST HISTORY – Young Vic Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Seiriol Davies’s How to Win Against History is not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before. But then again, it is. A pastiche, a satire, a brilliant piece of aesthetic campery on a par…

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Monday, December 4, 2017

EUGENE ONEGIN – Arcola Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Something very exciting is happening in small-scale opera. This is the third one I’ve seen in as many months, all striking in their own ways but Eugene Onegin is by far the most enjoyable.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★ by Carole Woddis

This was a labour of love, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson’s inaugural production for their newly formed OperaGlass Works for which they raised all the funds, a cool £145,000.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE SECRET THEATRE – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

What with the BBC’s Gunpowder Plot and now Anders Lustgarten’s spymaster drama, we really seem unable to quite slough off our fascination with those grisly times when terrorism came in C…

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TRESTLE – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Stewart Pringle’s Harry and Denise fortuitously keep meeting over the trestle table in the local village hall rented out for evening classes and meetings. Harry is one of the backbone-of-t…

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

#ntNetwork – National Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Whoever decided to revive Chayefsky’s film via a stage production made an astute choice. Network could hardly be more topical or timely in an era that has become infamous for false truths,…

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THE RETREAT – Park Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

With Kathy Burke’s imprimatur attached as director, my expectations were high for Sam Bain’s The Retreat although everything else about the writer was unknown to me.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CORIOLANUS – Barbican Centre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Coriolanus may not be the most frequently staged of Shakespeare’s political Roman dramas although it nearly always gets included when a series of them are run together as here with the lat…

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

POISON – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

There is something exquisitely philosophical and European about Lot Vekemans’ approach, at once logical and precise as she moves her two-hander from a point of unresolved conflict and outr…

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

MACBETH – Bussey Building ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Devil You Know theatre company director Paul Tomlinson describes his setting as 'post apocalyptic’ and certainly Peckham’s Bussey building lends itself to such a concept.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

SUZY STORCK – Gate Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Some of the most viscerally shattering productions I’ve seen in recent years have turned up at the tiny Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. Magali Mougel’s Suzy Storck is no exception.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

THE SEAGULL – Pushkin House ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

What extraordinary actors the Russians produce and what a revelation is this newly filmed version by Moscow’s Satirikon Theatre uncomfortable, disturbing, unsettling though it also is.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ANYTHING THAT FLIES – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

When I read that Anything that Flies was her debut play by writer, Judith Burnley, I naturally assumed it was a young playwright being given a big chance by Jermyn Street’s new artistic di…

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Monday, October 30, 2017

BITCHED – Tristan Bates Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Raizada’s dialogue is unflinching in the way she captures speech that symbiotically interweaves between everyday conversations and those portrayed on TV as if both were entwined and feedin…

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A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE – West End ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

It’s all elegantly if slightly laboriously done in studied anachronistic style, delivered facing out to the audience as if emphasising precisely its decorative home.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ALBION – Almeida Theatre ★★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Rupert Goold’s previous, James Graham’s Ink, went on to enjoy its present run in the West End. For sheer entertainment value, I’ll be amazed if Mike Bartlett’s stirring eulogy for a …

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Monday, October 23, 2017

THE LADY FROM THE SEA – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

The grounding comes in Kwame Kwei-Armah’s decision to transplant the play to 1950s Caribbean and in the casting of Nikki Amuka-Bird as Doctor Wangel’s second wife, Ellida giving her raci…

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE SEAGULL – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Simon Stephens’ version makes no bones about how an obsession for fame can lead to ruin, hell and damnation or all three. Adelayo Adedayo’s Nina is burning to be a 'celebrity’, idolisi…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BEGINNING – National Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Whereas Heisenberg celebrates taking a chance on love, even in one’s dotage, Beginning seems, sotto voce, to be saying something interesting about class.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

A DAY BY THE SEA – Southwark Playhouse ★★★ by Carole Woddis

You win some, you lose some. Sometimes 'forgotten gems’ are cast aside for good reason. Fashion, sensibilities, history – always changing.

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HEISENBERG: The Uncertainty Principle – West End by Carole Woddis

I think I should start off by saying Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle that launches a brave new commercial venture in the West End by director Marianne Elliott and producer Chris Harper…

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THE FALL – Royal Court Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

"Theatre is important. Theatre has the most amazing ability to give people an understanding of what can often be very complex social issues by telling human stories, while at the same time s…

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CHILD OF THE DIVIDE – Polka Theatre & touring ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Child of the Divide launches Bhuchar’s Boulevard, a new development on from the company, Tamasha, she founded with Kristine Landon-Smith in 1989 and which premiered Child of the Divide ori…

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

MACBETH – Barbican Theatre & touring ★★★★★ by Carole Woddis

It is now a little over a year since director Yukio Ninagawa died and this revival of his Macbeth, arguably his greatest hit, certainly brought an extra emotional tug to the Barbican.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

WHAT SHADOWS – Park Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

As a play, there is so much in What Shadows that touches on and echoes today’s myriad trouble spots, it could hardly be more topical.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

AFTER THE REHEARSAL/PERSONA – Barbican Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Having excavated Visconti (Ossessione), Ivo van Hove has now moved on to Ingmar Bergman. Much as I admire van Hove – and I do – I am a little perplexed as to why he’s involved himself …

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

THE MARCH ON RUSSIA – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

In David Storey's The March of Russia, Up in Arms find a source of such acutely observed family, domestic pain and political pertinence as to set the heart racing afresh.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

WINGS – Young Vic ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Fusing brilliant imaginative speculation with humour, in Natalie Abrahami’s revival, Wings becomes a deeply moving, ultimately even uplifting account of what it might feel like for a strok…

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TROUBLE IN MIND – The Print Room at the Coronet ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

With its peeling walls and echoes of proscenium grandeur, Alice Childress’s 1955 American classic in praise of theatre carries a wonderful sense of authenticity, even to some of its echoin…

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Friday, September 22, 2017

THE BLINDING LIGHT – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Howard Brenton gives us a barn-storming role for the actor playing Strindberg – in this case, Jasper Britton – and the women who appear in his life.

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